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General Taguba Blames 'Leadership Failure' for Abuse

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posted on May, 11 2004 @ 06:44 PM
By now, we all know that General Taguba testifed before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
He blamed lack of training, leadership and discipline.

My question: how much of this can be blamed on the military's lean year during the Clinton administration? How much of getting into an engagement before the mmilitary was fully prepared?

" The abuse of Iraqi prisoners reflected a failure of leadership in the U.S. armed forces, the general who investigated the mistreatment testified on Tuesday, but he found no evidence that American soldiers had acted on direct orders of higher-ups.

Asked directly in "your own soldier's language" what had caused the abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison, once the feared symbol of Saddam Hussein's dictatorial rule, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba recited a litany of ills.

"Failure in leadership, sir, from the brigade commander on down, lack of discipline, no training whatsoever and no supervision. Supervisory omission was rampant," Taguba, the author of a Pentagon report on the abuse, told the latest Senate hearing on the scandal, which has drawn worldwide outrage"

[Edited on 11-5-2004 by DontTreadOnMe]

posted on May, 11 2004 @ 08:19 PM
I don't know how a problem with leadership, lack of discipline, and no training is a result of the Clinton administration. Regardless of how big or small a military, discipline is usually the first lesson that is learned. After listening to these guys in their senate hearings today, I am convinced that Intelligence agents encouraged the "abuse" but gave no direct orders. Typical cover your a$$ tactics. It has been and remains my opinion that everyone from the Brigadier General CO over the prison on down ought to tried for deriliction of duty and gross incompetence. It should not be limited to the actual perpetrators only.

posted on May, 12 2004 @ 09:29 AM
Upon further research, there are folks who would not only agre with you, but say that Clinton made the military better:

"The United States has had two big demonstrations of American military power on George W. Bush's watch that have been spectacularly successful. The irony here is that Bush fought these wars with the military Bill Clinton bequeathed to him."

And, of course, the opposing viewpoint:

"U.S. Military Resources Have Been Depleted
by Years of Clinton/Gore Neglect

* The Clinton/Gore Administration had stretched our military forces thin in the past eight years. Between 1960 and 1991, the United States Army conducted 10 "operational events." In the past eight years, the Army has conducted 26 operational events --- 2 1/2 times that number in 1/3 the time span.

* Today, there are 265,000 American troops in 135 countries.

* Since the end of the Gulf War, our military has shrunk by 40 percent. Army divisions have dropped from 18 to 10. The Army has reduced its ranks by more than 630,000 soldiers and civilians and closed over 700 installations at home and overseas.

* Since 1990, the Air Force has shrunk from 36 fighter wings (active and reserve) to 20. The Air Force has downsized by nearly 40 percent while simultaneously experiencing a fourfold increase in operational commitments.

* At the height of the Reagan Administration build-up, the Navy had 586 ships. Now it only has 324. The Clinton Administrations blueprint called for that number to further drop to 305. If the rate of ship construction and retirement by this administration is continued, that number could fall to only 200 ships by 2020.

* Since 1987, active duty military personnel have been reduced by more than 800,000."

And, another, middle ground piece:

"The short answer is that plenty of credit is due to both presidentsóand plenty more to neither.

Weapons systems and war strategies often take years, even decades, to evolve. After the allies won the first war against Iraq, Operation Desert Storm in 1991, then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney said he called up Caspar Weinberger "to thank him for all those $600 toilet seats he bought." (His reference was to the Pentagon-procurement scandals of the Reagan years, when Weinberger was secretary; the scandals so dominated the defense-budget debates of the era that many people were surprised that the U.S. military could fight, that its weapons worked.) Cheney's point was that he, President Bush, and their generals may have fashioned the war planóbut they executed it with inherited arsenals."

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